Hollywood actress Taraji P. Henson was front and center as Capitol Hill on Friday as she talked frankly about the stigma around mental health.
Henson launched the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation and is dedicated to raising both awareness and resources when it comes to mental health within the Black community. The charity is named after her father who was a Vietnam vet who suffered from both PTSD and bipolar disorder.
“The suicide rate has taken off. It amazes me that 5-year-olds are contemplating suicide. That’s a word you shouldn’t even understand at five years old," Henson said.
“We don’t talk about mental health, we don’t deal with it. For generations, we’ve been told it’s a weakness, to pray our problems away – and that’s just not gonna cut it," she continued.
Henson also opened up about her personal experience with those suffering from mental health issues:
“I feel like I’ve really found my purpose. It’s hard,” she says. “But he knew it and he was able to get the help that he needed.”